Revelation 5:1-14 When the world is shaken, believers remain unshaken to prosper and bring salvation to all men
I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it; and one of the elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”
And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne. When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying,
“Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
“You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying,
“To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
And the four living creatures kept saying, “Amen.” And the elders fell down and worshiped.
What John saw and described in Revelation 5 is the recognition of Christ as being the only one worthy to open the book and break its seals. Here, Christ the Lamb is formally established as the Saviour and Ruler of the universe. Giving honour to God is equivalent to giving honour to Christ who sits on His right hand. Christ, having received all authority from God conferred this authority to believers who forsake all to follow Him. Even as the world is shaken by the breaking of the seals, these believers will remain unshaken. They will function as kings and priests to sustain humanity and reconcile them to God. Today’s devotion teaches us: WHEN THE WORLD IS SHAKEN, BELIEVERS REMAIN UNSHAKEN TO PROSPER AND BRING SALVATION TO ALL MEN.
- I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals.
The contents of the book are authored by the One who sat on the throne. The book stipulates the events that must take place to bring salvation to the world. And the One who is worthy to open the book and break its seals will be given authority to carry out the events stated in the book. Not only that, He is appointed to rule creation forever. Then there appeared to be a brief moment where none came forward to open the book or look into it. John weeped because with no one worthy to do so, there will be no salvation for the world, and evil will prevail.
- The elders said to me, “Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.”
John’s despair was short-lived when one of the elders directed him to behold the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah. The Lion takes on the appearance of a Lamb “as if slain”, not dead but alive while carrying the marks of wounds that are fatal. The Lamb, which stood amidst the throne, the four creatures and the elders is none other than Jesus Christ. What made Jesus worthy to open the book is His perfect love for humanity and His complete obedience to God. The Lamb’s seven horns and eyes depict divinity, absolute authority and omniscience over all things; an appropriate symbol for the Lion of Judah. Akin to God, the Lamb possesses the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the world (see v.5).
- When He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each one holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
The handing of the book from God to the Lamb signifies the conference of divine authority. The moment this happened, the four living creatures and the elders burst into a new song giving Him an honour akin to the honour given God. While honour was given to God as the supreme Ruler and Creator, the Lamb was honoured as the Saviour who will restore all things back to God. The harp and the bowls of incense signify the united worship and praise of the saints for the Saviour. The prayers of the saints are highways that usher God’s kingdom from heaven to the earth. On the same note, Jesus taught the disciples how they should pray: Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).
- “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation… You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”
The song emphasises Christ’s worthiness to bring about the events (written in the book) that result in the salvation of humanity. That salvation involves the coronation of the righteous to become kings and priests for God. Kings, to reign upon the earth and priests to reconcile humanity to God.
- “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”… “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
The final round of worship involves all the inhabitants of heaven. Notice the finale of supremacy was accorded to both the Lamb and to Him who sits on the throne. Truly, all who possess Christ’s Spirit, who give themselves unreservedly to follow Him will also share in His glory and authority.
WHEN THE WORLD IS SHAKEN, BELIEVERS REMAIN UNSHAKEN TO PROSPER AND BRING SALVATION TO ALL MEN.
Before humanity is saved, before the dawn of a new heaven and new earth, the shaking must come. As the seven seals are broken in succession, the very foundations of the world are shaken. This shaking will cause all to question the foundations men have so painstakingly built and depend on. The foundation of political powers, financial systems, technology, civil law and even nature itself will be shaken. When this happens, many will look to a safe haven; a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Where do believers stand? We are whom Christ has purchased with His blood, whom God has made to be a kingdom and priests for God. Hebrews 12:28 speaks of a kingdom that cannot be shaken whom believers are appointed as kings and priests. In other words, we whom God has purchased will function as safe havens to sustain humanity and reconcile them to God.
- How can believers become an unshakable kingdom?
Being unshakable is to be confident and courageous amid the storms of life. And with divine wisdom and power we can emerge victorious whatever the circumstances. Where then is the source of our confidence, wisdom and power? It is the kingdom within, the dominion of God. Kingdom, “basileia” in Greek means dominion. Jesus said,
“The kingdom (dominion) of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:20-21 (NKJV)
It is the God’s dominion within that gave Jesus the confidence to walk on water, the power to calm the storm, the wisdom to solve complex problems and the love to forgive those who nailed Him to the cross. It is this kingdom’s power that prospered the men of faith amid great challenges: Abraham, Job, Daniel, and King David are such.
- We can draw upon the kingdom within through meditation.
Meditation connects us with God’s kingdom allowing His love to flow from within and towards others. The exercise of meditation allows us to discover and register the pockets of anxiety that lurk in our soul. It facilitates the flow of wisdom to loosen the knots of complex issues and problems. Through meditation, we gather greater confidence and courage to scale higher mountains. When the disciples could not cast the demon out of the boy, Jesus told them to spend time in fasting and in prayer (see Matthew 17:21).
- It is God’s plan to save the world through believers.
When God conferred His authority to Christ to bring about the events in the book, God in the same breath conferred the same authority to believers to reign upon the earth. As kings, we bring order through wisdom and authority. As priests, we reconcile men to God through love. Jesus, in John 14 conferred God’s authority to His disciples to continue His work because He will be ascending to the Father. Jesus said,
Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. – John 14:11-12
Therefore, besides praying for God’s kingdom to come upon the earth, we must remember that God’s kingdom is already present within each believer. Thus, the time is ripe for every believer to rise up to manifest the power of Christ right here and right now.
Take time to bring forth the kingdom from within through mediation.
First, imagine a channel of pure love connecting God’s heart with yours. Allow His love to consume your fears and insecurities.
Second, imagine multiple channels of pure love radiating out of your heart like hub and spoke to the people around you.
Third, be mindful of the knots of unsolved problems that weigh on your soul. Take note of these knots and allow them to come to the surface. Do not run from them but allow divine wisdom to cast a heavenly perspective on them. Solutions to these problems will emerge beginning as faint impressions then gradually gaining clarity.
Dear Lord, I thank you for putting your kingdom within me. I commit myself to becoming a king and priest in such a time like this. Use me to be a safe haven for those who are sick, who are experiencing family problems, and who are in need of direction. I am confident that in whatever circumstances, I will remain unshakable and indestructible. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.